The first legally approved HIV self-test kit has gone on sale in the UK allowing people to test for the virus at home and get the results within 15 minutes.
The device records the levels of antibodies in a small droplet of blood taken from the fingertip.
Its makers claim it’s 99.7 percent accurate.
Charities hope it will reduce some of the 26,000 people estimated to have undiagnosed HIV in the UK
Paul Flemings from “Positive East, HIV charity” said: “I think some people are complacent and think well it’s a gay man’s thing, it’s never going to happen to me. Some people are ignorant and they think well I had and HIV test a few years ago. I’ll be fine. But I think there’s a huge amount to stigma that surrounds the virus and there’s no other virus in history that has so much baggage.”
An early diagnosis allows people to get treatment quickly and can prevent serious complications which can impact on life expectancy.
Experts warn that any positive tests must be reconfirmed at clinics.
They are also calling for more public funding so that people especially those on their own can quickly access support when they get their result at home.